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The ongoing chip shortage is now affecting gaming RAM prices and availability

Another day, another victim. It might be sometime before you're able to slot in sticks of DDR5 gaming RAM into your gaming PC thanks to ongoing chip shortages.

Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro RAM inserted into an MSI motherboard, with a Corsair AIO water cooler

It’s been a rough couple of years for anyone wanting to buy the best graphics cards, as the ongoing chip shortage has dramatically affected availability, resulting in grossly inflated prices for even entry level GPUs. It’s bad enough that Intel and Nvidia CEOs reckon this could carry on throughout next year, but now the best gaming RAM has also fallen victim to the shortage.

Intel’s new Alder Lake processors are the first desktop processors to support DDR5 RAM, but a report by 12chip (via Wccftech) suggests that anyone looking to upgrade their gaming PC with team blue’s CPUs will have a hard time finding a single stick of memory.

The reason for the shortage appears to be caused by the PMIC (power management integrated circuits) on DDR5 RAM. While PMIC chips have been used on previous memory standards, DDR5 moves power management away from the motherboard and onto the memory module itself, which requires a new version of the part.

To make matters worse, sources claim, “the purchase price of the PMIC chip to be used in DDR5 memory is ten times more expensive than the corresponding chip in DDR4, and the procurement cycle is at least 35 weeks.” This means we can likely expect stock shortages and inflated prices for the DDR5 RAM to stick around well into next year.

Thankfully, DDR4 is still plenty fast and is supported across all AMD and Intel processors. However, if you grab one of team blue’s best gaming CPUs from its Alder Lake lineup, you’ll want to make sure your motherboard supports the DDR4 specification.